Not just a treasury but a very precious little treasure too. Published in 1947, the poems may no longer be quite so modern but they are still certainly beautiful. Here is one I particularly liked …. ‘deep is the silence.’
| Moonlit Apples
At the top of the house the apples are laid in rows,
And the skylight lets the moonlight in, and those
Apples are deep-sea apples of green. There goes
A cloud on the moon in the autumn night.
A mouse in the wainscot scratches, and scratches, and then
There is no sound at the top of the house of men
Or mice; and the cloud is blown, and the moon again
Dapples the apples with deep-sea light.
They are lying in rows there, under the gloomy beams;
On the sagging floor; they gather the silver streams
Out of the moon, those moonlit apples of dreams,
And quiet is the steep stair under.
In the corridors under there is nothing but sleep.
And stiller than ever on orchard boughs they keep
Tryst with the moon, and deep is the silence, deep
On moon-washed apples of wonder.
Watch them break
Hear the deafening crash,
Before the unstoppable rush towards you
Feel the drag of stones as water pulls away
Might pull you under
Feel it break
Over and over
Who knows what’s going on? Certainly not me with my rudimentary French but came across this poem in a pretty place overlooking the Pyrénées. From what I think I understand it’s about a horn? and the beauty of the Pyrénées… beyond that who knows…it’s a romantic mystery, or perhaps tragedy, or perhaps something else entirely!!
Of warm sand between toes,
A shared cigarette
And being lost amongst sand dunes
Questions come like flies on a summer’s eve
To settle on me in plagues of glassy blue,
A loud tinnitus hum that will not leave
Despite every damned thing I try to do.
Do you think of me or not very much
Now? Do you worry that my love is spent?
Do you miss my face my hands my touch?
Are the things you say platitudes or meant?
I do not know. I only know they grow
In number, swarming black against my sky.
I arm myself with weapons, watch their flow
Unstoppable procession, who will die
First? Not my love, I know that’s true
I can’t swat it away easily. You?
Oh little horsefly,
Summer lover of skin,
Your bites they can wound me,
But please, dig right in.
Feast while you can love,
While attraction remains,
My heart and my blood
Are reward for your pains.
Have all that you want,
Then vanish from sight,
Fly away quickly,
Until some other night
And these love bites, I’ll keep them
Though they hurt and are sore.
Your bites, they go deep dear;
Give me some more.
Leave me here for a while,
Hidden like a doe in long grass
Watching clouds shift across the sky,
Sunset at Stonehenge Ruins by Ryan Fox
For my most favourite day of the year…
Let me rest my back against your cold stone
And watch the sun rise in front of us.
I cannot hear you breathe but you live
And I feel everything of you as we stand here together, your
Ancient blood seeping into my living veins telling
Of all that has come before
And all that promises to be.
It is a beautiful dawn.
Perhaps later, as the sun dwindles,
I shall lie here in this field of grass
Under your shadow, at your altar,
And watch as the world begins to grow dark
Begins to grow silent
Begins to grow cold,
Is bought to heel again,
And remember this magic.
I like to say your name aloud.
I love the way it rolls of my tongue,
To hear the syllables, approximant
In their approximation of my love for you.
Allowed, I would speak your name to anyone who would listen,
Releasing its long vowels and plosives
In explosive declarations of love
That would tell everyone and anyone that
This beautiful man,
Whose name rests impatiently on my lips,
Is the man I love,
The man I need.
Aloud, I speak your name
As I walk alone in late evening sun.
I hear it, short and sweet,
As I disclose wildest dreams
To snag and hang on thorny hedgerows
To wave like prayer flags
For the passing birds and
Startled fallow deer to hear.
Aloud, I speak your name to the wind,
Allow its pitch and tenor
To be swept away on the wings of warm, invisible currents
And imagine somehow, somewhere,
It will find its way back to you
So you can hear it:
My gentle voice on the breeze
Calling your name softly.
If only you knew how heartbreakingly beautiful you are,
How you are so many perfect things,
How your touch is honey,
How your absence stings.
Lips unused to Thee—
Bashful—sip thy Jessamines
As the fainting Bee—
Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums—
Counts his nectars—
Enters—and is lost in Balms.